Category Archives: Technical

Using a US PS3 in India

My brother bought a PS3 from US and these were some of the issues that came up when we were trying to get it working in India.
Its a PS3 Slim 160 GB with a firmware 3.51 and was bought on Dec 2010.

 

Power Supply

Although it is written 120V AC on the PS3, the power supply is universal and it works perfectly on 230V. You just need the correct plug adapter. No need for any converters, step down transformers etc they may do more harm if they dont have the necessary output power  (PS3 requires 380W).
The model no: of my PS3 is CECH 2501A 120 V 2 A 60Hz and it works perfectly on 230V 50hz here in India without anything.
The Wikipedia article on PS3 also says that the power supply is universal.

Note: There is one comment that some one damaged his PS3 by plugging in to a 230v though we dont know the exact details.

 

BD/DVD playback and Region Codes

US PS3 is Blueray Disc (BD) region coded 1, and will not play movie BDs of other regions, except region free versions. India is region 3 and Europe is 2.
However, many of the movie BDs currently released in India are region free (ie playable in all regions). This may soon change once BD becomes popular in India.

US PS3 is DVD region coded 1 and will not play other region coded DVDs, except region free versions. India is region 5 and Europe is 2.
Most movie DVDs released in India are region coded, and so not playable.
Even if you get a region free Indian DVD it may still not be playable.
Indian movie DVD’s and CD’s use PAL system. So PS3 wont be able to play an Indian movie DVD or CD even though it is region free. It just shows and error message ‘PAL format not supported’

 

NTSC Vs PAL Issue for standard TV sets

By standard TV sets i mean the SD (4:3) resolution CRT TVs and not the new crop of LCD/LED TVs which are HD ( marketed as 16:9, wide screen, 720p, HD Ready, 1080p/i, FullHD etc)
US PS3 supports only NTSC(480i) output and not PAL(576i) output in SD resolution. That is, it works only on TV’s with NTSC system.
Indian television uses PAL system. However, most of the new TVs (year 2000+)seems to support NTSC too and so it wont be a problem for those.
[Note: The above issue does not apply to you if you have a HD TV and connect to it using HDMI or Component cables in HD resoluton]

 

NTSC vs PAL Issue for High Definition TVs (LCD, LED etc)

Though NTSC(480i) and PAL(576i) doesnt come to picture when using HD(1080i/p or 720p) resolutions through an HDMI or component cable, there comes another issue which is the output frame rate.

US PS3 outputs video at the NTSC broadcast standard frame rate, which is 60Hz.
The Indian television system (both HD and SD)uses PAL and it is 50Hz and is not capable of displaying the 60Hz signal.
Fortunately, there are several models from different brands which supports both 50Hz and 60Hz. So ensure that your HDTV supports both. Check in the specifications of your HDTV for words similar to 1080i@50, 1080p@60, 720@50, 720@60 etc
The HDTV must support atleast 720p@60Hz for a US PS3.

For those who already have an HDTV that does’nt support the 60Hz signal, you will have to use an HDMI signal converter to change the signal frame rate. This device will change the output refresh rate to 50Hz and viceversa.
http://www.amazon.com/Atlona-AT-HD560-HDMI-NTSC-Converter/dp/B0011MOVN8

Similarly, an Indian PS3 outputs at 50Hz and so it may not work with an HDTV imported from US (only a very few HDTVs in US support 50Hz).

As far as i know, computer monitor supports a wide range is refresh rates and so it works fine whether its 50Hz or 60Hz at 1080p or 720p resolutions.

 

PS3 games

All PS3 games are region free. So you can use a game purchased from anywhere.
However, you will have to play them in an HDTV at an HD resolution using an HDMI or compnent cable. This is because at SD resolutions the NTSC vs PAL issue comes up.

PS2 games from India seem to be not playable in US PS3 as they are not HD.

 

Online games with a US PS3

The US PS3 connects to the US PSN. Since you are connecting from India you most probably will have problems but usually it can be sorted out. You will have to contact game publisher and they will direct you.

For example, When i tried to play Fifa 11 (which i bought from US itself) online, initially it was showing some errors. The EA customer service told me to make a new online ID with a US address and also gave me a new key. It was fine after that.
Now, i bought a Fifa 13 from India, and i couldnt play online at first. EA suggested some workarounds(install a patch) and it is fine now.

 

How to connect PS3 to your TV/monitor?

The PS3 has an HDMI, Component and Composite (commonly called RCA or AV) output. Note that only composite cable is supplied along with PS3.

The HDMI is the easiest and the best method. Just plug in the HDMI cable to your monitor/TV and the settings will be automatically setup. This is the best method because it gives you the full HD (1080p) video output along with 7.1 Ch audio [ofcourse you must have the necessary audio setup].
You could also use an HDMI->DVI cable if your monitor has a DVI input but no HDMI. [Note that for this setup to work your monitor should support HDCP (via DVI). Check your monitor manual].

The composite(RCA or AV) output works only on TV with NTSC system and supports only SD resolution. The BD playback and PS3 games does not look good in the standard TV. You must consider a 32+ inch HD TV or atleast a 22 inch Full HD monitor.

The component video cable for PS3 has to be purchased separately and used if your TV supports it. It supports full HD.

Note: Turning off and turning on the system again by pressing the power button for 5+ seconds until you hear 1 beep resets the video output to default settings [which is  composite output for standard TV].

 

How to get Audio output?

PS3 supports 7.1 Ch audio via HDMI, 5.1 Ch via Digital out (optical out) and 2 Ch via RCA cable.
By default, the audio will be output through HDMI if you are using HDMI for video, and RCA if you are using a composite or Component video output.

PS3 supports simultaneous audio output from all these outputs. Go to Settings > Sound Settings > Audio Multi-Output and set this On. This is very useful if you want video output though HDMI and audio through RCA.
For example, I am using an HDMI-DVI cable to connect video output to my monitor as it has no HDMI port. In this case you will have to get audio from the RCA or Digital out.

 

Watching videos in PS3

By default, PS3 may not list all the audio/video files in your harddisk or USB drive. It would say “No Titles Available”. In that case just use ‘Triangle’ button, choose ‘Display all’ and then you can browse and play the other videos/audio
PS3 can play  DivX, WMV, AVI, MP4, H.264, MPEG – 1/2/4, MP3, WMA, MKV, Wav etc.

 

Using PS2 controller in PS3

The PS2 controller can be used in a PS3 by using a controller adapter. The adapter plugs in to the USB slot. It costs about 300-400Rs in Ebay India. It may not work with all types of games, especially the games that use the PS button and accelerometer. But for games like Fifa it works perfectly.
After connecting to the USB slot, press the start button in your PS2 controller to enable it(the light glows).

 

 

FAQ

These are some of the repeatedly asked questions in comments. I wont be replying to these anymore.

Will i blow my US PS3 if i connect it to Indian 230V power supply?
Wikipedia, and several internet forums say there will be no problem, as the internal power supply is universal. Many users including me have been using without any problem.
Sony Inc doesn’t say Yes or No.
There is no guarantee that all models, especially the future models will be having universal power supply. Its upto you to decide.

Can you suggest a good step down transformer?

Sorry, no idea. I dont use it. Make sure the one you buy has 300W rating.

Will Indian DVD/CD’s play in US PS3?
No

Will PS3 games purchased from India work in my US PS3?
Yes, if you are using HDTV. Some games may not work in old TVs. Check the section PS3 games for details

What about online gaming?
Mostly yes. You may come into problems as you are logging from a different country. But you can contact support(game publisher) and they will mostly sort it out.

Is PSN region free?
No. US PS3 does’nt play games downloaded from other PSN. Also some games are only available in certain regions’ PSN.

What about controllers and move? can we buy them from another country?

Yes.

Can i play pirated games in my PS3?
You can, but you need to do a hardware modification. And once you do that you cant update your system, and so may not be able to play newly purchased genuine games.

Can i exchange PS3 games with my friend?
Yes.

The power button is flashing Yellow or Red and PS3 doesn’t power on?
Sorry most likey you have a hardware failure. Flasing yellow is ‘generic hardware fault’ and flashing Red indicates an overheating.

——

HDMI to DVI cable which we use to plug in the PS3 to our Samsung B2230.
HDMI to DVI

The RCA female to Stereo 3.5mm female audio jack which we use to output audio from the PS3’s RCA cable to our Creative speakers. The jack is available at electronics shops.
RCA Female to Stereo Female

The PS2 controller adapter
PS2 toPS3/PC controller adapter

Some Links
PS3 user manual online – http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/
Ifixit PS3 teardown – You can see internals of your PS3 in detail
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/PlayStation+3+Teardown/1260/1
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/PlayStation+3+Slim+Teardown/1121/1
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/PlayStation+3+Super+Slim+Teardown/10670/1

33dots.com moved to a new host

Finally this site is moved(hosting and registration) from Yahoo! to DreamHost.
A quick summary of the steps.

1. BackUps!
Yahoo doesn’t allow shell. So painstakingly downloaded the all the required contents to my local system using gFTP. This took about 1hr :(
Exported all the essential MySQL databases via phpMyAdmin

2. Unlocked the domain and copied the authorization code, which is required for the domain transfer.

3. Initiated a domain transfer form the DreamHost (DH) control panel.
You will be sent an email to the ID provided in your registration information to confirm the transfer. Confirmed it.

4.Set up web hosting for this domain at DH.
DH allows you to setup any number of websites to host under a single account.

5. Uploaded all the content to DH
Initially tried command,

[tony@localhost ~]$ scp -r 33dots/dump/ username@jaguars.dreamhost.com:work/

but got bored seeing individual files being transferred slowly.

then,

[tony@localhost ~]$ tar -czpf 33dots.tar.gz 33dots/dump/
[tony@localhost ~]$ scp 33dots.tar.gz username@jaguars.dreamhost.com:work/

I had to use host as jaguars.dreamhost.com because i have still not pointed my 33dots.com DNS entries to DH.

sshed to DH. and,

[tony@localhost ~]$ ssh username@jaguars.dreamhost.com
username@jaguars.dreamhost.com's password:
[jaguars]$ tar -xzpf 33dots.tar.gz
[jaguars]$ mv 33dots/dump/* ../33dots.com

6. Setup databases at DH
Created a new hostname and user for mysql.
Created the databases
Imported the .sqls via phpMyAdmin

7. Setup a dreamhosters.com account to test things.
I want to test everything is fine before doing the DNS changes. DH allows you to access your hosted sites, by creating a temporary subdomain like 33dots.dreamhosters.com. This allows you to access and test your site, which is otherwise inaccessible, until you point your DNS to DH.

Yes, everything seems fine. Ofcourse! absolute links are not working..
Deactivated the dreamhosters.com subdomain.

8. Setup Gmail for mail
I’ll be using gmail for the mail once the transfer is complete.
Went to http://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/new and setup the account. Yes, it wont be working until i change the MX records to point to google.

9. Changed my DNS entries at Yahoo(the registration transfer has not yet over, it will take 7-10 days) to point to DH.
Unsuccessful! an error is shown by yahoo. Perhaps,  since the transfer process is in progress, yahoo cant change the DNS now. Anyway no problems, i have the working version of the site still at yahoo and now also at DH. The email is also working, only thing is it is with yahoo.

10. Transfer process over!
I got mail from DH that the transfer is complete (5th day).

[tony@localhost ~]$ whois 33dots.com
---------
Registrar: NEW DREAM NETWORK, LLC
Name Server: NS1.DREAMHOST.COM
Name Server: NS2.DREAMHOST.COM
Name Server: NS3.DREAMHOST.COM
Status: ok
---------
[tony@localhost ~]$ nslookup 33dots.com
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:   33dots.com
Address: 69.163.171.212
[tony@localhost ~]$ host 69.163.171.212
212.171.163.69.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer apache2-emu.jaguars.dreamhost.com.

Mail is working fine from Gmail. The website too seems ok.
Now that the transfer is complete and the website is working fine, i deleted all the files and databases at yahoo and canceled the account!

To read and type Malayalam

A computer represents an alphabet [technically called language script] using a number code. The coding scheme which is currently used (ASCII) however only represents the English alphabet and numerals and some special characters.

Unicode is a new encoding scheme which represents all alphabets in all languages in the world. In Unicode, Malayalam first letter ‘a’ (അ) is given the code number 3333. Similarly, different numbers are given for rest of Malayalam alphabets. The fonts that understand this new encoding scheme are called Unicode fonts.

To read and type Malayalam properly in your computer you have to use Unicode Malayalam fonts. [The same also applies to other languages; to read and type a particular language you need to have the Unicode font of that language.]

To work using  a Unicode font of a language, we also need,

  • The Operating System support for displaying that language script [in our case support for displaying malayalam]. This is technically called font rendering support. If the OS has no proper support, we may still be able to view the language but there will be errors. In Malayalam we usually have problems like ‘Chillu’ and ‘diacritics’ [കേ, കൊ] etc.
  • A system for inputting the language script to the computer. Operating Systems usually support keyboard layouts for different languages. Once enabled, we could use the normal keyboard for inputting. For example, typing button ‘K’ inputs malayalam script ‘ക’ (ka).
  • Applications supporting Unicode scheme. Like notepad, IE, Word, Firefox etc. Almost all of the programs of the latest Operating systems support Unicode.

Using unicode, you can read and create malayalam text and websites, blog and chat in malayalam, and even search google in malayalam, See here for an example of searching google in malayalam .

Now lets see how this can be accomplished in various Operating systems,

Windows 7

Windows 7 has by default support for reading and typing Malayalam.

You can view Malayalam webpages without doing anything special. Just check it out here.

If you like, you may install more Malayalam fonts like, AnjaliOldLipi, Raghu etc from here. Here is a picture of the fonts listed.

For typing,
1. Enable Malayalam typing by,
Control panel > ‘Change Keyboard or other Input methods’ (under section ‘Clock, Languages and Region’) > ‘Keyboard and Languages’ tab > Change keyboards… > General tab > click Add and choose Malayalam.
The layout for the Malayalam keyboard is the same Inscript layout shown here.
Now you can type Malayalam directly into any application.
Also check the ‘Language Bar’ tab. You can add a button on the taskbar for switching between Malayalam and English typing.

2. You can use Google transliteration IME to input Malayalam letters using the Mozhi scheme directly to any application. It has features like word completion.

3. You can use web based Google transliteration service , to type Malayalam in the transliteration scheme of Mozhi, and it will be converted to Malayalam automatically, Then you can copy paste it into your programs. Google transliteration service is also used in Orkut to input Malayalam.
The advantage of this method is that you can test typing, right after you setup viewing.

4. The options listed for Windows XP, like the Mozhi keyman, Varamozhi editor etc may work for windows 7 (I’ve not tested it).

Windows 95/98/Me/NT and 2000

These OS’s have no proper support for Malayalam script rendering. :(
Fortunately IE has good support and you can use it.

Install a Malayalam unicode font like AnjaliOldLipi. Download it from here.
Go to Control Panel > Fonts.  Choose File > Install font and browse to your font and click OK.

And use IE (ver 6 is good) to view malayalam pages, although the display may not be perfect.
On Internet Explorer 6: Go to Tools -> Internet Options. Click Fonts and Choose Malayalam and set AnjaliOldLipi as the font.

Check whether you can read malayalam at malayalam wikipedia.

To type Malayalam
They do not have direct support for inputting malayalam.

1. Try using the Inscript keyboard layout program from CDAC, Govt of India.
Download it from here. Unzip and doubleclick Setup.exe to install.
An icon should come at the taskbar which enables you to switch, keyboards. The key map is here.
[Please confirm if you have success in using this]

2. You could also try the methods specified for ‘typing Malayalam’ in Windows XP/2003, [except method 1].
Please see below.

Windows XP/2003

Windows XP SP2 and 2003 has default support for rendering Malayalam.

To enable it,
Go to Start > Control Panel.
If you are in “Category View” select the icon that says Date, Time, Language and Regional Options and then select Regional and Language Options.
If you are in “Classic View” select the icon that says Regional and Language Options.
Select the Languages tab and make sure the option saying Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai) is checked. Click OK.
A confirmation message should now appear – press OK on this confirmation message to allow the OS to install necessary files from the Windows XP CD and then reboot if prompted.

Check whether you can read malayalam at malayalam wikipedia.

You should install AnjaliOldLipi font in any case. The default font provided by XP called ‘karthika‘ is not good and small.
Install AnjaliOldLipi malayalam unicode font.
Download from here.
Go to Control Panel > Fonts.  Choose File > Install font and browse to your font and click OK.

Enable firefox and IE to use this font.
For Firefox  Go to Tools > Options > Content.
You can see the Fonts & Colors section. Take Advanced.
Choose Malayalam from the Fonts for dropdown menu.
Now set AnjaliOldLipi in each of the dropdown list. Click Ok and Ok.

For IE, Go to Tools > Internet Options.
Click Fonts and Choose Malayalam form the Language Script dropdown menu
Set the font as AnjaliOldLipi in the below list box.

See IE, FF and notepad displaying malayalam in my windows XP, using the default font karthika. You can also see the keyboard layout switcher in the taskbar near system tray.
Malayalam pages displayed in Windows XP

To type Malayalam
1. Windows XP SP2 and 2003 has default support for typing malayalam. This is the Inscript keyboard layout from CDAC, Govt of India.
To enable it, Choose Regional and Language Options from Control Panel. On Languages tab click Details.
Click the Add button and Choose Malayalam(India). Click Apply.
Now Click Language bar… button and check Show Language bar… and Show additional language bar…
A menu will appear in the taskbar which allows you to select the malayalam keyboard. The key map is here.

Now you can type Malayalam directly into any application.

2. Use a keyboard mapper called Mozhi Keyman to type Malayalam directly into the computer in transliteration scheme[eg typing english keys ‘ithu’ will output malayalam ‘ഇതു’.]
Download Mozhi keyman here and install it. Once it is installed you will see its icon(letter K) in system-tray. Click on it and choose ‘Mozhi’ to enable it. The icon will now change to malayalam (ക)
Use this mozhi scheme to type.

3. You can use a software called Varamozhi, This software allows text inputting in same transliteration scheme of Mozhi, and once you are done export it to unicode file. Download and install Varamozhi here. Visit varamozhi site for details on how to use it

4. You can use web based Google transliteration service , to type Malayalam in the transliteration scheme of Mozhi, and it will be converted to malayalam automatically, Then you can copy paste it into your programs.  Google transliteration service is also used in Orkut to input malayalam.
The advantage of this method is that you can test typing, right after you setup viewing.

Some more key mappers and web based services are listed here

Windows Vista

Windows Vista has default support for reading and typing malayalam. Check the section for Windows 7, the steps are almost similar.

GNU/Linux

GNOME and KDE both has good support for malayalam script rendering.

You will only need to install malayalam unicode font.

To install AnjaliOldLipi,
Download from here. To install, open your File Manager, type fonts:/// in the addressbar and hit enter and paste fonts in that folder.

OR you could install the distribution specific fonts by commands,
Redhat, Cent OS, RHEL , Fedora etc – yum install fonts-malayalam
Debian, Ubuntu etc – apt-get install ttf-malayam-fonts

Restart X-server by logging out and logging in back.

Usually Firefox is capable of detecting the malayalam font to display. If not,
Go to Tools > Options > Content.
You can see the Fonts & Colors section. Take Advanced.
Choose Malayalam from the Fonts for dropdown menu.
Now set AnjaliOldLipi in each of the dropdown list. Click Ok and Ok.

See firefox displaying malayalam in my Cent OS 5.3. The only error i could see is for the rendering of ‘nte’ as in “എന്റെ”

Malayalam wikipedia in Firefox in CentoOS

To type malayalam
1. Both GNOME and KDE has support for malayalam keyboard layout. The is the Inscript keyboard layout from CDAC, Govt of India.

To enable it,
For GNOME,
Go to System > Preferences > Keyboard. Select the Layouts tab.
Press Add, then select India > Malayalam from Available Layouts frame and then press Add. You could also see an image depicting the keymappings.

Now add a icon for changing keyboard layouts,
Right click on the main menu on your desktop and select Add to Panel….
Select Keyboard Indicator and click Add. Position the keyboard indicator on your menu bar and click it to switch between keyboard layouts.

For KDE,
In the Control Center, go to Regional & Accessibility, Keyboard Layout
In the tab Layout, click on Enable keyboard layouts
Choose the Malayalam in Available layouts and click on Apply
Now, you will have an icon for the KDE Keyboard Tool in your panel, in which you can choose the layout you want

2. You could also use the Google transliteration service. Check the section on ‘typing malayalam’ in Windows XP above for more details.

Mac

Mac OS X has no support for rendering Malayalam script at the time of writing. Mac OS X has support for only Devanagari, Gujarati and Gurmukhi scripts. So mac can properly display only the languages that use these scripts [like Hindi, Sanskrit, etc ]

We could still install the malayalam unicode fonts, and can get some readable display.
Download the font malayalam.ttf from here. [Mac needs its own specific truetype Unicode fonts to work with its font rendering engine AAT, So AnjaliOldLipi, Meera doesnot work here.]

We now have a new font called RachanMac.ttf. Download it from here. Credits to Manoj and Vinod for making this mac version of Rachana font. [Please uninstall any previous malayalam fonts that you have installed before installing this.]

Install the font by double clicking on it. Once the font is installed you will see ‘Rachana’ in the System Preferences > International > Language list

Usually in Mac we do not need to change anything in Firefox or Safari to see malayalam. Mac is intelligent enough to  automatically hunt through your installed fonts to find any font that includes the character symbol.

Check this page with  firefox and safari.

See this screenshot of firefox displaying malayalam wikipedia page in Mac. You can see that it is perfect.
Malayalam wikipedia in Mac firefox

To type malayalam
1. The Google transliteration service can be used in mac too. Check the section on ‘typing malayalam’ in Windows XP above for more details.

2. For small texts, you could use the Mac’s unicode hex input, to directly input the keycode of the required letter.
Go to System Preferences > Keyboard and enable Unicode Hex Input checkbox. Now, a keyboard menu will appear on the menubar, Click on it choose Unicode Hex Input and press Option key and type the unicode code, and it will be inputted. Malayalam Unicode Hex chart can be downloaded here.

3. A mac malayalam keyboard layout by Manoj is here. Download the the Layout file and install it as per the instructions given in the same page.

To view Manorama, Mathrubhumi and Deepika website.

Fonts used in the websites like Malayala-manorama and Deepika etc are not unicode, they are just usual ASCII encoded fonts which uses malayalam symbols at the places of English one’s. They use the code numbers assigned for English alphabets for Malayalam. This method does not have any of the features of Unicode fonts.

These sites use a technology of Internet Explorer called ‘Dynamic fonts’ where the font is automatically downloaded to your computer when you first visit their site in IE. Therefore, these sites by default, usually only work for IE.

Now, to view these sites in firefox or other browsers, you will have to manually download this font and install them. Refer previous sections on how to install a font for your operating system.

Manorama font – http://www.manoramaonline.com/mmfont/Manorama.ttf
Deepika font – http://www.deepika.com/mlkr0ntt_TTF.ttf

Mathrubhumi however uses Unicode font Meera hardcoded in to the HTML source. You will be able to view Mathrubhumi site after installing any unicode malayalam font.
If you want to install Meera font, download it at,
Mathurbhumi font – http://www.mathrubhumi.com/new09/Meera_04-2.ttf

Some More Malayalam Unicode fonts.

I have also collected some of the other Malayalam unicode fonts available. You could download them from here. Full credits to the creators of the font.Check the included copying.txt for information about the creators.

To have a look at how these fonts look, see this picture.

Some Issues

Webpage appears full of garbage even after installing font.
Try changing the encoding to UTF-8 from View > Character Encoding in FF and View > Encoding in IE

Credits-
Malayalam Computing, by Govt of Kerala. – This site include the latest on using malayalm in computers. Visit this site for further information on Computers and malayalam. Refer this site for details on how to use the Inscript keyboard.

Cibu and his Varamoshi page
Malayalam Wikipedia
Swathantra Malayalam computing
– for all the fonts.
MalayalamLinux
Project – for the mac font.
Santhosh – http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/SMC/Fonts – for the picture of fonts
Rohit and Sony for helping with the mac section and screenshots.